By Honduras Culture and Politics Blog. After an interlude of almost 18 months, drug planes are again using illicit landing strips in central Honduras, even as Honduras completes is radar coverage.
In February 2014, Willaim Brownfield, US State Department Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told El Heraldo that drug flights had dropped off precipitously:
“In the last 12-18 months the number of traces, flights, that go to Honduras have enormously been reduced. We are talking about a reduction of more than 80%.”
That trend was still true as of May, 2015 when General Kelly of US Southern Command said drug flights in general were down all over, and that Honduras had dropped from first to fifth place as a destination for drug flights.
However, there were signs earlier that 2015 was not going to be like 2014.
In February, long before General Kelly’s speech, the Honduran military allowed as how they were having trouble keeping up with clandestine landing strips in the Mosquitia. As fast as the Honduran military would blow deep holes in them to stop planes from landing, the drug runners would fix them up. One clandestine strip was destroyed on January 28, only to be usable again when visited on February 3 of this year.